Sports

Stanford women have a shot at hoops milestone with next win

 

In their first meeting of the Pac-12 Conference season, in Corvallis, the 13th-ranked Stanford women's basketball team and No. 7 Oregon State combined to score 108 points. The teams may be hard-pressed to even match that this time around.

Defense takes center court Friday when the Cardinal (22-6, 12-4 Pac-12) hosts the Beavers in an 8 p.m. conference contest.


A Stanford victory, which will be the 1,000th in program history, opens the door for Arizona State to win the regular-season title and gives the Cardinal a chance to grab the third spot heading into the conference tournament.

No matter what happens on Friday, the title likely will be decided when the Sun Devils play at UCLA on Sunday morning.

Oregon State and Stanford rank 1-2 in the nation in field goal percentage defense. The Beavers have been holding opponents to 30.9 percent shooting and the Cardinal limits the damage to 32.1 percent.

"Our defense is what we've been hanging our hat on," Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. "This is one of the most committed defensive teams we've had."

Stanford swept its final Pac-12 road weekend of the year, winning at Colorado (80-49) and Utah (72-54) last weekend. It was Stanford's first 2-0 conference road trip this season. The Cardinal shot 44.4 percent from the floor and held the Buffs and Utes to a combined 29.4 percent shooting.

Oregon State completed a home sweep of the Los Angeles schools, avenging its lone loss of the conference season. The Beavers have won 14 straight.

Stanford and Oregon State each lost to the Bruins on their homecourt by 20 points. The Cardinal won't get a chance to avenge that setback unless it meets UCLA in the tournament.

Stanford is 53-7 all-time against Oregon State, dating to 1981, and 28-0 against the Beavers at home. Friday will mark the sixth meeting with both schools ranked in the AP Top 25.

Stanford led by as many as 15 and was up 11 early in the fourth quarter before Oregon State roared to a 23-4 advantage over the final minutes.

Junior Erica McCall averaged 15.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks st Colorado and Utah and has been playing at a higher level since the second half of Stanford's loss to Arizona State.

Kaylee Johnson and Lili Thompson each contributed 12.5 points, Brittany McPhee added 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds and Marta Sniezek averaged 5.0 assists.

McCall recorded a career-high seven blocks against the Utes, just in time to go up against the nation's leading shot-blocking team. The Beavers average 6.8 blocks a game, compared to Stanford's 6.3, seventh in the nation.

Stanford also will host Oregon, on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Lacrosse

Senior defender Adrienne Anderson and senior attacker Lucy Dikeou were among 50 women nationwide named to the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, given to the top player in collegiate lacrosse.

This is the third season Dikeou has made the list, and the first for Anderson. Stanford has had 10 players on the watch lists since 2006. Dikeou joins Lauren Schmidt '10 and Laura Shane '08, who each were named to the list three times.

Players not named to the initial list have several opportunities to play their way into a spot as the season progresses. Watch lists additions, if applicable, will be announced on March 17 and April 7. On April 28, the field will be narrowed to 25 men's and 25 women's nominees.

Nominees can be players on the watch lists or players not on the watch lists, effectively allowing for a third round of additions. Five men's and five women's finalists will be announced on May 12 and invited to the ceremony. The 16th annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 2.

Anderson and Dikeou have helped the Cardinal to a 2-1 record and a No. 14 national ranking going into Saturday's showdown against Harvard, set for noon at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.

Squash

Sixth-ranked Stanford opens play at the College Squash Team Championships on Friday against No. 3 Princeton in New Haven, Conn.

The Cardinal (11-4), which has not played since losing to the Tigers, 7-2, on Jan. 31, is competing in its eighth Howe Cup, the highest level of the championships, in nine years. Stanford won the Kurtz Cup last year, finishing ninth in the nation.

The Cardinal is looking to improve on its best finish, sixth-place showings in 2010 and 2011, when it takes the courts at Yale.

Stanford will play either No. 7 Columbia or No. 2 Penn in one of the the semifinal rounds. Top-ranked Harvard meets No. 8 Cornell and the fifth-ranked Bulldogs take on No. 4 Trinity in other first-round matches.

The Cardinal, 3-4 against Howe Cup teams during the regular season, won four of its final five matches.

Among the standouts for Stanford on the final weekend was sophomore Tatyanna Dadabbo, who went undefeated in six matches at No. 7 singles. Freshman Tara Shannon and sophomore Christie Huchro each won five of six matches.

Women's tennis

Stanford and Florida have combined to win four of the last six NCAA championships, and the matches between the schools have sometimes exceeded the hype.

Sunday's noon meeting at Taube Family Tennis Stadium is the fifth straight matchup, of a home-and-home series, during the regular season, with both programs having the mutual respect to face off early in the spring.

Considered by many as the sport's best rivalry, it all started to gain momentum when Stanford defeated Florida, 4-3, to capture the 2010 NCAA title. Over the last six years, the powerhouses have hooked up eight times, with the Cardinal notching five victories.

No. 16 Stanford (4-2), which has already played four top-30 opponents -- including No. 1 Vanderbilt, has won three in a row and is closing out a four-match homestand.

No. 7 Florida (5-0), which travels to top-ranked California for a match Friday, will be playing its final nonconference match before starting conference competition.

The Cardinal has been led by No. 24-ranked Taylor Davidson (13-5 overall, 4-1 duals) and No. 51 Caroline Doyle (11-5 overall, 4-2 duals). Depth is coming into play, with No. 109 Krista Hardebeck (9-5 overall, 5-1 duals) settling into a groove at the No. 3 spot and Caroline Lampl (10-2, 5-0 duals) riding a seven-match win streak.

Stanford has also won the doubles point in every match this year. All three tandems are ranked nationally, including the No. 3 team of Davidson and Doyle (17-2 overall, 5-1 duals).

Wrestling

Stanford travels to Arizona State for the Pac-12 championships Saturday. Wrestling begins at 10:30 a.m., with the finals slated for 5 p.m.

In addition to competing for team and individual conference titles, wrestlers will be looking to qualify for the NCAA championships, to be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City between March 17-19.

Heavyweight Nathan Butler leads the squad with 23 wins this season, including a team-best eight falls. Stanford wrestlers have made a combined 19 appearances at the conference championships. Seven of the 10 Cardinal projected to compete this weekend have wrestled in the conference tournament, though only redshirt juniors Jim Wilson (165) and Zach Nevills (197) have been there twice.

Stanford 141-pounder Joey McKenna enters the conference championships as the Cardinal's highest ranked wrestler, at No. 2 nationally. He's 19-2 overall and 11-1 in duals, with both of his losses coming in overtime to top-ranked Dein Heil of Oklahoma State. He is looking to become the third straight Cardinal freshman to win a conference title, joining Jim Wilson (2014) and Nathan Butler (2015), and just the fifth overall.

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